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Oregon Sick Time, Paid Leave Oregon And Emergencies – Part II

Updated: Oct 3, 2022


Author: Stephanie L. Leffler, SPHR

Oregon Sick Time, Paid Leave Oregon And Emergencies – Part II

Our post provides further details, guidance and resources to navigate the complex leave laws that apply to most OR employers. We will touch briefly on OR Sick leave and OR Saves. Fall and the changing of the seasons is what I enjoy the most about Oregon. Fall holds the promise of something new as plants change their colors, temperatures drop and hopefully raindrops fall. This season brings us closer to the end of the year and compliance with the Paid Leave Oregon (PLO) Program. This blog will focus heavily on PLO.

Last but not least, the end of the year is a great time to shift your safety focus to preparation for emergencies and winter safety. Missed it? Read The Blog Part I. GourmetHR has been monitoring the PLO program and attending the State sponsored information meetings. Stay tuned for our FAQ sheet specific to the PLO program.

OR Sick Leave: All Oregon employers with 10 or more (6 or more in Portland) employees and those with out of state employers with employees who reside in Oregon should already be accruing or front-loading Oregon Sick Time. Be sure to report to your employees their sick balance on a regular basis. The best practice is on their paycheck. Smaller employers can decide to follow the program even if not required to participate.

OR Saves: Every Oregon employer should be signed up and participating in the OR Saves or an equivalent program. Their website guides you through the sign up process. Contact us if you need assistance. Note: The only exception is employers with four or less employees. Those employers have until March 01, 2023. If the owner receives a W-2 they are part of the count.

Paid Leave Oregon (PLO) Program:

PLO provides 12 weeks (14 weeks for some pregnancy related issues) of paid leave to assist Oregonians who experience important life events such as family, medical and leave related to stalking and domestic violence (safe leave).

Twelve other states offer similar programs. If your business is impacted by other paid leave laws, seek out professional support to navigate and obtain the best tax incentives.

ORS 659A.159 provides that an employee to take leave for three reasons, (family, medical and safe). Employers may not impose additional restrictions to prevent the employee from taking leave. For instance, one cannot state any paid leave bank must be used prior to applying for PLO. We learned that Oregon will not delineate nor disclose to employers the reason why an employee takes leave. Rather you will be told if they are approved or not via FRANCES.

Pro Tip: Set up an optional payroll code named “PLO” (paid leave OR) for visibility of time tracking. This is not required as the online system, FRANCES maintains that information. If you are subject to other forms of protected leave such as the Federal Family Medical Leave Act and/or OR Family Leave Act, best practice is to have a policy that all applicable leave types runs concurrently. This is allowed per PLO. Be aware that some leave types are more generous and only apply to the specific events. For example, PLO includes bereavement leave whereas FMLA and OFLA do not. Therfore, balances would differ between leave type.

PLO Who Is A Covered Employer?: Employers include Non-profit organizations, S-Corps and other types of business entities. Exceptions are independent contractors and tribal governments. However, they can choose to opt into the PLO program.

Timeline: The equivalent plan process began this month (September) and to avoid penalties and interest, submit your application by November 30, 2022. The state will be flooded with applications so the sooner you get yours in the better because deductions begin on January 01, 2023.


1% up to $132,900. Anything beyond the $132,900 is not subject to contributions. The amount will be evaluated each year. The employer pays 40% of the 1% tax and employees pay 60%.

The rate is determined each year. Large employers and small employers may opt in. Headcount includes all full, part, seasonal and out of state workers.

Payroll Contribution: Varies between $61.24 to $1469.78. A FT employer would pay $3.24 per week per employee and the employee would contribute $2.16 per week.

Employer Size: